KU News Release

April 15, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Kinnard, William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, 785-864-7644

Journalism school places second in Hearst Intercollegiate Writing Competition

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications has placed second in the annual Intercollegiate Writing Competition of the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Writing Foundation Awards competition.

“The KU school of journalism continues to foster and support excellence in writing,” said Ann Brill, dean of the school. “In this highly competitive contest, we are honored to have placed so highly. It validates what we are doing here to give students the tools they will need to be successful communicators in a complex media environment.”

KU journalism students won first place in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition — and the $10,000 award that goes with it — in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The Hearst program holds an annual, yearlong competition in writing, often called the “Pulitzers of college journalism.” The journalism school that accumulates the most points earned by its students in each category of the six writing competitions, titled the Intercollegiate Writing Competition, is the winner.

KU journalism students have won a total of $6,700 in the contests this year, and the school of journalism received matching funds of $6,700, in addition to $5,000 for placing second in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition. KU junior Jayson Jenks, who won first place in the sports writing category, will travel in June to San Francisco to compete in the national writing championships.

Indiana University won the Intercollegiate Writing Competition with the highest accumulated student points this year. KU finished ahead of the University of Iowa, Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Missouri, University of Montana, University of Oregon and Northwestern University, who rounded out the top 10.

The Hearst Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and fully funded and administered by the W.R. Hearst Foundation. It consists of six monthly writing, three photojournalism and four broadcast news competitions and one multimedia competition, with championship finals in all divisions except multimedia. The program awards up to $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually.

Publisher William Randolph Hearst established the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the Hearst Foundation Inc. in the 1940s, before his death in 1951. Since then, the foundations have awarded more than $500 million in grants and programs.

Judging the writing competitions this year were Peter Bhatia, editor, the Oregonian; Ward Bushee, editor and executive vice president, the San Francisco Chronicle; and Jennifer Sizemore, vice president/editor-in-chief, MSNBC.com, and executive producer, NBC News.

KU students who placed in the top 10 in the six writing contests are listed below by hometown.

From Lawrence 66046
Brenna Daldorph, a spring 2010 graduate in French, won first place in the in-depth writing category for “Living in Limbo,” which was published in April 2010 in the University Daily Kansan. Her story covered the plight of undocumented aliens raised in the United States by families who brought them north as children to seek good schools and better lives. She received a $2,600 scholarship for her first-place win. Daldorph is teaching English in La Réunion, a French island located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. She is the daughter of Sandra Thompson and Brian Daldorph and a Lawrence High School graduate.

From Lenexa 66227
William Jayson Jenks, a junior in journalism, won first place in the sports writing category for “The Great Divide,” which chronicled the radically different lives of two black KU athletes, Wilt Chamberlain and Leonard Monroe, in the 1950s. Jenks received a $2,600 scholarship for his first-place win. He is the son of Holly Soptick and a graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. The story was published in January in the University Daily Kansan.

From Overland Park 66210 and 66213
Elliot Kort, a spring 2010 graduate, placed ninth in the personality/profile writing category and received a certificate of merit. Published in May in the University Daily Kansan, his story, “A matter of interpretation,” profiled Kim Bates, a sign language interpreter at KU. Kort is an aggregation editor at TBD, a website covering news in the Washington, D.C., metro area. He is the son of Robert Kort (66213) and Jeannie Kort (66210) and a Blue Valley Northwest High School.

From Shawnee 66203
Stephen Montemayor, a fall 2010 graduate, placed 10th in the sports writing category and received a certificate of merit. His winning story, “Between the ears: Colleges tackle concussions in football,” appeared in December in the University Daily Kansan. He is a reporter covering education for the Shawnee Dispatch. He is a Shawnee Mission North High School graduate.

From Topeka 66610
Alyson Van Dyke, a spring 2010 graduate, earned third place in the feature writing category for “Unexpectedly Expecting.” Published in April 2010 in the University Daily Kansan, the story shed light on the decisions of four women who experienced unplanned pregnancies. She won a $1,500 scholarship. She now reports for the Kansas City Business Journal. She is the daughter of Joseph Van Dyke and Carol Hille and a Washburn Rural High School graduate.

From Omaha 68144
Adam C. Samson, a spring 2010 graduate, placed 10th in the personality/profile writing category and received a certificate of merit. Published in April 2010 in the University Daily Kansan, “Abnormal arms, but ample ability,” profiled Andreas Brandenberger, a KU student born with phocomelia, a rare disorder that left him with no thumbs, wrists or forearms and two partial hands with only two digits on each. Samson is a sports information and media services intern at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He is the son of Steven and Judy Samson and a graduate of West High School in Omaha.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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